Legislation

North Dakota State Representative Rick Becker knows a threat to liberty when he sees one. He will soon introduce legislation to limit law enforcement's use of drones in searches and seizures.

Less than a month after governments debated ending online anonymity and other proposals to impose a global regulatory regime on the Internet at a United Nations conference in Dubai, the dictatorship ruling mainland China announced that all Web users would have to identify themselves with their full names. The new rules also mandate that “illegal” content — criticism of the regime, for example — be immediately scrubbed and reported to authorities.

President Obama has placed a federal judge in an “inescapable, paradoxical situation” in a case challenging the federal government’s authority to hide warrantless wiretapping behind a “state secrets” shield, the judge said at a hearing on December 14.

By a vote of 73-23, the United States Senate voted to extend for five years the FISA Amendments authorizing the warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications.

“Christmas is not more important than this legislation.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) actually said that with regard to his effort to begin debate on the Senate’s renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

If you ride public transportation, watch what you say. In city after city, transit authorities are installing sophisticated surveillance equipment to record every word spoken by riders.

Regulations recently signed into effect by Attorney General Eric Holder allow the National Counterterroism Center (NCTC) to monitor records of citizens for any potential criminal activity, without a warrant and without suspicion.

In an article posted by Libertarian-minded Judge Andrew Napolitano on LewRockwell.com on Thursday, Napolitano asserts that government spying has gotten out of control. According to Napolitano, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have justified the process of spying on American citizens and the violation of constitutional rights in the process, always under the guise of security, and in doing so, have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

NSA whistleblower William Binney says the FBI’s probe into General David Petraeus indicates that “every American is under surveillance.”

The Alameda County, California sheriff’s office has been forced to suspend the purchase of a surveillance drone after constitutionalists and activists slammed the agency with concerns that the use of the unmanned aerial vehicle would violate privacy protections.

The sheriff’s office had asked the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to approve a $31,646 grant to purchase a drone. The money was part of a $1.2-million grant handed out by the California Emergency Management Agency.

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